Archive for May, 2012

Did God REALLY say THAT?

Posted in Guest Post on May 16th, 2012 by James Barron – 1 Comment

Since the beginning of time the devil has been in the sales business and he has been pretty successful at it. To get a glimpse of his tactics we have to go back to where his career began. In Genesis 3:1-5 we read “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (NASB) I want to draw your attention to 5 words the enemy used then and is still using today… DID GOD ACTUALLY SAY THAT? The devil as we know is not creative but he is very crafty. The deceptive tactic he uses is one of confusion. He knows he cannot steal our salvation (although many believe and are taught they can lose it) so he goes to his default setting of attempting to confuse as he did with Adam & Eve. Notice he says in verse 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He was convincing them that they must DO something (eat the fruit) in order to BECOME like God. Is it any different today? Many believers are still falling for the lie of you must perform in order to become. Unfortunately it is widely taught either by the spoken word or is implied that we are saved by grace but perfected by performance. And we wonder why so many people are confused and want nothing to do with Christianity. It is taught that salvation is a gift and cannot be earned. This part we have right. Then we turn right around and say now you must “pay God back” for what He did for you. I believed this lie for years and it brought me so much frustration and lead to eventually burning out. One day the light bulb went off and I discovered that a gift cannot be earned. How insulting if after receiving a gift for your birthday you then tell the person who gave you the gift “ thank you so much now how much will I have to pay you back”? Doesn’t that look a lot like how we approach our relationship with Christ? It’s either a gift or a wage, and God does not hand out wages!

Now to get back to the point (sorry I went off on a rabbit trail) the enemy is still saying “Did God REALLY say THAT?? For example in 1 John 4:17 we read an almost unbelievable statement that says “as He is so are we in this world”. The thought the devil would like you to think is “ Did God really say you are like Him? That can’t be true because your behavior today and this last week looks nothing like Him’. One secret I will let you in on is the devil will never say “you are dirty or unholy, or whatever. He will convince you to say to yourself “I am dirty and unholy.” See the difference? This is where the back and forth in and out of fellowship mindset comes from. Also, a lot of teaching out there will lead you to believe that “one day you will be like Him if you obey perfectly, and confess every sin you ever commit so you can stay in fellowship”. Once you get to heaven THEN you will be like Him. Here is a truth for you to meditate on…everything you will be THERE you already are HERE!! God is not going to do a last minute polish before you go to heaven. What is true there is true here NOW!! You are not waiting to be sanctified there, you are fully sanctified here (Hebrews 10:14) You are SEATED WITH CHRIST in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) Here are some more unbelievable truths that are actually in the Bible! See if you can see why the enemy would TRY and say to you ” Did God REALLY say THAT?”

John 3:17-18- For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged ; he who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Colossians 2:9-10- For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.

1 Peter 3:18- For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

Let me end with this. Remember the game many of us played as kids where we sat in a circle and one of us was given a sentence or phrase? We would then say it to the next person and it would travel all the way back to the original person? What was originally said sounded nothing like the original statement! This is exactly what has ben going on for centuries, and it continues today when it comes to the gospel. Rather than saying something or teaching something that sounds like the gospel, why don’t we just go back and read the ACTUAL words of Christ and the apostles. Be encouraged today that WHO you ARE in Christ is REALLY true RIGHT NOW!!!

Jeff Fitzgerald

The Mystery of Christ in the Riddle of Samson

Posted in Blog Entry on May 13th, 2012 by James Barron – Be the first to comment

Jesus said that all of scripture speaks of Him in some way. The way to read the Old Testament scriptures so that they are life to you is to look for Jesus in the scriptures like He taught us to do. We read the scriptures not to find laws or rules to keep but to find another picture of Jesus that our faith in Him might be strengthened! (Luke 24:44-45)

The riddle of Samson (Judges 14:2-3) is an awesome picture of Jesus and His work in bringing righteousness to mankind through faith. The gift that was given to those who could solve the riddle were wedding garments for Samson’s wedding, a picture of the robes of righteousness which every believer receives when they believe on Jesus for the forgiveness of all sin.

Yes, the wedding gift for solving the riddle is the garment of righteousness!

But what is the answer to the riddle: Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet? In the story of Samson the answer in natural terms was: “Honey coming from the body of a dead lion.” What is stronger than a lion? What is sweeter than honey? They answered Samson with these words after finding the answer only from being told the answer (it must be revealed because it cannot be discovered otherwise).

In the spiritual I believe we can see the mystery or riddle of Christ in this story. Honey seems to speak of “mercy” in the scripture so what is the opposite of mercy? Justice! I say “opposite” because the heart of the riddle, which makes it a riddle, is that something completely opposite and unexpected happens. The eater, the lion, should have eaten and devoured Samson, but Samson ends up eating something
from within the dead lion, something “hidden” from plain sight: honey. Out of the eater, something to eat!

I see Samson as a type of Christ. His strength is a picture of the perfect righteousness of God. Only Christ could have faced the justice and wrath of God for us in the epoch battle which culminated in the cross. (I say “culminated” because the battle was on the moment He entered earth’s atmosphere on that night in Bethlehem.) We would have been eaten alive by the wrath of God (like a lion devouring his prey) because of His holiness, but His love for us and burning desire to be with us caused Him to take the wrath due us.

The Lion of the tribe of Judah was stronger than the lion of God’s justice and He prevailed because it was God Himself settling the score and declaring that He Himself is enough! So now out of the justice of God a strange thing is found, a riddle unfolds, and because of Samson (Christ and Him crucified), honey or mercy is given. That which would have eaten us (justice) has given us something to eat (mercy) because of Samson’s work, because of the finished work of Christ. And from the “strong” and unapproachable and unrelenting (justice) comes something “sweet” and approachable and and also unrelenting (mercy).

Behold the riddle of Christ and receive your wedding garments, your robes of righteousness, for the King has paid a great price for them and for you, and He is determined to have a party!

- James Barron

Let Jesus the Christ Live Through You

Posted in Guest Post on May 13th, 2012 by James Barron – 2 Comments

“And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him” – Matthew 9:9

To “follow” means to come or go after, move behind in the same direction: to come or go with; to accept the guidance or leadership of; to adhere to the cause or principles of; to be governed by; obey; comply with (John 10:27-29, Romans 10:9-10,13).

When a person first comes to Jesus, it is impossible to know everything that following Jesus entails. No one, however, should be fearful of making a total commitment to Him because of some imagined problem that may never come to pass. There should be a willingness to forsake everything to follow Jesus. Once we make that decision, then Christ Jesus begins to live through us and we find a strength that is not our own, and is equal to whatever test we may encounter Galatians 2:20).

It is Christ Jesus living through us that is the secret of victorious Christian living. It is not us living for Jesus, but Jesus living through us. Failure to understand this simple truth is at the root of all legalism and the performance mentality. The law focuses on the outer man and tells it what it must do. Grace focuses on the inner man and tells it what is already done through Christ Jesus. Those who are focused on what they must do are under the law. Those who are focused on what Christ Jesus has done for them are walking under grace.

Just as the life of a root is found in the soil, or a branch in the vine, or a fish in the sea; the believer’s true life is found in union with Christ Jesus. The Christian life is not just hard to live; it’s impossible in our human strength. The only way to walk in victory is to let Jesus live through you.

God loves you ! There is nothing you can do about that. Talk to Him today, He’d love to hear from you. You are an important part of God’s plan.

Brother Coop
Right Time—Right Place Ministries